Friday, September 10, 2010

We're Gonna See Penguins?

I took Nolan, my three-year-old grandson, to the part the other day and when I started getting bored because our "park" has only a merry-go-round (which I can't go on because it makes me sick), a teeter-totter, and four swings, I said, "Why don't we go find the peacocks?"

Well, that's what I intended to say. What I said, and what I ALWAYS say, was, "Why don't we go find the penguins?"

I don't know why I CONSISTENTLY make this same mistake. I didn't realize I had said penguins (AGAIN) until my grandson's eyes lit up. Surprised and happy, Nolan asked, "We're gonna see PENGUINS?"

I feel as if I should belong to one of those anonymous groups that meet for problems they can't control. Maybe, like alcoholism, my problem would be considered a disease, and I'm wondering if "ITIA", which I know sounds curiously close to idiot, is a disease that exists. (ITIA stands for Inability To Identify Animals.)

Maybe I'm the only one afflicted with this malady. Or maybe the synapses in my brain are hay-wired due to LACK OF SLEEP, INSOMNIA, and EXCESSIVE STRESS.

ITIA has been problematic for me for as long as I can remember. When my children were growing up, we sometimes visited the zoo and, peering into various cages, they would ask, as children usually do, "What is that?" I would have to run for the sign, because I might have warped their little minds if I had accidentally called a muskrat a giraffe.

As usual, when Nolan brought to my attention ONCE AGAIN my error in calling a peacock a penguin, my shoulders dropped as I let out a heavy sigh. And then I burst into tears, laughing at the absurdity of how I ALWAYS – EVERY SINGLE TIME – when I try to say peacocks, say penguins instead.

And now I'm afraid my poor grandson has caught my disease, because while we were looking for the peacocks, we saw the same white cat we always see when we search for the penguins. (I can NOT believe I just did it again – I meant peacocks.)

"Oh, look, Nolan, there's that white cat," I said.

"It's not a cat," Nolan told me, "It's a pig."

What defective gene did I inadvertently pass on to my grandson?

Maybe I should look into getting the National Geographic Encyclopedia of Animals.

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